Is AR furniture shopping the future of furniture eCommerce? When digital technology is evolving, everything around it is evolving as well. Especially when it comes to eCommerce and digital user experience. People are used to online shopping which means it’s out of question whether a retail business should digitize or not. Did you know that 80% of Internet users in the US have made at least one purchase online? Online shopping preferences of shoppers in the US change over time. In 2017, according to Total Retail, people preferred shopping online when it came to books, toys, sports equipment, consumer electronics, etc. But what about furniture?
Well, furniture is something people prefer to do in person. Why? There are always many concerns related to online furniture shopping.
Is this coffee table too big for the living room?
Should I get the redwood shelf or some other color?
How will that couch fit in with the rest of the interior?
These are some understandable concerns when it comes to furniture eCommerce. While shopping, people will always want a couch to sit on, a mattress to lay on, and drawers to open and close. But how come is furniture one of the fastest-growing product categories for retail eCommerce? Big companies are always striving to innovate. They are also relying on furniture eCommerce retail, thus taking more of the market share than smaller businesses. A successful furniture retail business has to grow in tandem with furniture eCommerce. This requires not only willingness to adapt, but also creativity to get a step ahead of the competition.
Furniture eCommerce is growing because retailers are relying on reviews, photos, and are constantly creative as technology develops. Here at Addria, we believe that the future of furniture eCommerce is in augmented reality (AR) shopping. AR is becoming more relevant and that is out of the question! Giant companies such as Apple and Google already They’ve been launching their AR apps since 2017. Today, AR is growing faster than ever.
How do Furniture AR apps function?
Augmented reality (AR) means overlaying real-life imagery with computer-generated one (CGI). This is done by using an app on a phone. AR apps allow users to combine the environment with virtual elements and generate a live digital image. A real-life augmented with digital data (audio, images, video, 3D models)
In this case, people use AR apps to augment 3D models of furniture into a real-time environment. This way people can see how each furniture piece fits into their home or office. AR offers a personalized shopping experience that is entertaining and engaging to customers.
Current AR Furniture eCommerce situation
Retailers are already rather eager to provide an innovative shopping experience through AR. It is soon enough going to majorly affect the way we shop online. This is because experts believe you only need a phone to see how certain furniture pieces fit in your place. Is redwood or whitewood a better fit with the rest of the room? Just check how both of them fit through the AR app and make a decision.
Big companies such as Ikea and Wayfair, have already started with this and it is driving their sales. Being innovative by investing in your shopper's experience builds upon brand loyalty. People will have way more trust in the quality of your furniture, which leads to increased online sales. Especially if you present shoppers with furniture quality reviews from previous shoppers. People look for reliability and safety when it comes to online furniture shopping. With an AR app, you can also motivate them to shop by showing them exactly how the furniture piece is going to fit.
According to a study done by Centric Digital, furniture is the top product people want to shop with AR! Furniture is the top product (60%) compared to clothing (55%), groceries (39%), shoes (35%) and jewelry (25%). Even though AR technology is only at the dawn of its eCommerce potential, the idea of AR furniture shopping is already very well perceived by shoppers.
WebAR Furniture eCommerce
Using an AR in eCommerce has got a little obstacle - applications. Ever since augmented reality became a thing, the best experience has been app-based. Think about the game Pokemon Go or previously mentioned Ikea AR Furniture App. While AR does offer advanced technical capacities, it can be tricky to get people to download an app to their phone. Especially if they are larger in size, people would need to clear more space on their phones. This is why WebAR is the next big thing.
WebAR stands for augmented reality experience accessed not through a native app, but rather a web browser. This means you do not need to download the app directly to your phone. If AR is young, WebAR is even younger. But tackling WebAR technology on time ensures a successful outcome, especially in the furniture WebAR eCommerce.
Addria, as an innovative company with skilled and highly experienced team of developers, is already working on the AR technology. The future of AR is now, and Addria is already here.